EatingWell's Best Salad Recipes
Watermelon, Cucumber & Feta Salad
Here's a healthy salad recipe to make at the height of summer when watermelon and cucumbers are at their juiciest and most flavorful. Feta adds the perfect creamy, salty, tangy edge, and mint makes this salad taste even brighter. This is one easy side salad you'll want to serve at all your summer BBQs.
Tomato Salad with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette
Seek out several varieties of heirloom tomatoes for this simple salad. Sweeter and juicier than conventional tomatoes, they add the perfect pop of color.
Chicken & White Bean Salad
Zucchini and celery give this chicken-and-bean salad a nice crunch. We like serving it over a bed of slightly bitter escarole and radicchio, but any type of salad greens will work. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Grilled Halibut Salad Nicoise
Salad nicoise, a classic French salad, is typically made with tuna. Here we use sweet grilled halibut (in season in midsummer) or striped bass. To make it quicker, substitute 2 or 3 cans of drained chunk light tuna. Or skip the fish altogether for a vegetarian main-course salad. We call for serving it on a platter, but it's just as beautiful individually plated. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Watercress & Sugar Snap Salad with Warm Sesame-Shallot Vinaigrette
In this Asian-inspired salad, the peppery flavor of watercress is paired with another emblematic spring vegetable--sugar snap peas. Tossed with a warm dressing made with caramelized onions, rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil, this salad is the perfect antidote to the chill of early spring. For the best-tasting watercress, look for supple, thin stems (not woody stalks) with small, heart-shaped, dark green leaves that have no yellow blemishes.
"Use a Spoon" Chopped Salad
When Paul Newman and Michel Nischan opened their Westport, Connecticut, restaurant Dressing Room, Paul's request was that the menu always include a chopped salad that you could eat with a spoon. This chopped salad recipe is full of great flavors, colors and textures, featuring celery, carrots, red pepper, apple, cucumber, greens, cabbage, goat cheese and almonds. This is great for any holiday meal: you can let it stand and it stays crisp.
Bean & Tomato Salad with Honey Vinaigrette
This beautiful salad combines fresh tomatoes, green beans, red onions and dried heirloom beans. Recently harvested beans (and thus freshly dried) cook more quickly than the kind you buy year-round at the market. In the latter part of the summer, farmers' markets begin to sell a fresh crop of heirloom varieties that would be perfect for this salad.
Toasting the pita adds crunch to this bright-tasting salad, and a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of ground sumac--the berry of a bush that grows wild all over Lebanon--add depth. Letting the salad sit for a bit before eating allows the pita to soak up the lemony dressing.
Melon, Tomato & Onion Salad with Goat Cheese
In this beautiful riff on the traditional tomato, mozzarella and basil salad, sweet melon slices are layered with tomato and cucumber and topped with crumbled goat cheese, crisp onion and fresh basil. Any variety of pale green- or orange-fleshed melon will work well in this melon, tomato and onion salad. Compose the salad on a large platter for a crowd or make it more elegant by assembling it on individual plates. Either way it'll look gorgeous.
Grilled Steak Salad with Tomatoes & Eggplant
Yes, steak can be part of a heart-healthy dinner, especially when you choose lean flank steak and pair it with a tomato and eggplant salad tossed with olive oil. In this grilled steak salad recipe, we toast dried oregano to season the salad and make it especially aromatic.
Spring Salad with Peas & Frizzled Shallots
This simple spring salad recipe combines red leaf lettuce and frisee with fresh peas and crispy fried shallots tossed with a light tarragon-infused vinaigrette dressing. The fried shallots give this salad an out-of-this-world flavor. And compared with store-bought fried onions, they have half the calories and a fraction of the saturated fat and sodium.
Massaged Kale Salad
Here a pungent garlicky dressing is infused into kale by massaging the greens and the dressing together with your hands. Any type of kale will work in this kale salad recipe, just remember to remove the tough stems before you start.
Apple & Fennel Salad with Blue Cheese
Apples and blue cheese are a heavenly match in this fennel and apple salad recipe dressed with a tangy cider-vinegar dressing.
Grapefruit, Hearts of Palm & Shrimp Salad
Serve this grapefruit, hearts of palm and shrimp salad for lunch or as an appetizer. This shrimp salad recipe is low in calories, light and satisfying. Hearts of palm are the tender inner stem of certain species of palm trees, with a flavor similar to artichokes. Find them near other canned vegetables.
Snap Pea & Quinoa Salad
Snap peas and mushrooms are combined with the fresh flavor of lemon in this pretty, healthy quinoa salad recipe. If you can make it ahead of time, do--this quinoa salad is even better the next day, after the dressing has soaked into the mushrooms and quinoa. (Adapted from “Quinoa Revolution” by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming; Pintail Books, 2012.)
Green Salad with Peaches, Feta & Mint Vinaigrette
This healthy side salad recipe follows one of the essential formulas for great salads: tossing bitter greens with sweet fruit, crunchy toasted nuts and salty cheese. Melons are a good alternative to the stone fruit later in the summer, or try dried apricots during the winter months.
Golden Beet, Green Bean & Fennel Salad with Scallops
Lemony seared scallops and a walnut vinaigrette top this healthy dinner salad. When shopping for scallops, avoid those treated with sodium tripolyphosphate (STP); it can make them mushy and the scallops won't brown properly. Some scallops have a small white muscle on the side; remove it before cooking.
Spinach Salad with Beets, Beans & Feta
Salty feta, briny olives and earthy beets give a Greek feel to this vegetarian spinach dinner salad recipe. We prefer the taste and texture of freshly cooked white beans, but you can skip that step and use 2 cups rinsed canned white beans instead. If you have a special olive oil, now's the time to break it out.
Escarole & Roasted Vegetable Salad with Anchovy-Garlic Vinaigrette
Roasted cauliflower, potatoes and artichokes get a quick marinade in the garlicky dressing while hot to add extra flavor in this healthy salad recipe. Don't skip the breadcrumbs--they're the secret to making this salad special.
Chicken & Farro Herb Salad
With tons of fresh herbs, arugula, olives and farro, this healthy chicken salad recipe makes a wonderful potluck platter or healthy dinner. We love the nutty flavor and quick cooking time of farro but other whole grains, such as freekeh, bulgur or couscous, are also good choices.
Vegetarian Taco Salad
Nobody will miss the meat in this colorful, zesty vegetarian taco salad. The rice and bean mixture can be made ahead and the salad quickly assembled at mealtime. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Pineapple & Avocado Salad
This refreshing, simple Cuban salad recipe captures the flavors of the tropics. Serve alongside spiced chicken or pork, with rice and beans.
Composed Bean Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
Channel your inner food stylist while arranging the beans and vegetables for this show-stopping composed bean salad recipe. Serve at a potluck or for a beautiful salad at brunch alongside grilled chicken, scallops or fish.
Persian Cucumber & Tomato Salad with Preserved Lemon
In this cucumber and tomato salad recipe, preserved lemon adds a tangy, salty bite. Serve this healthy salad as an accompaniment to dishes like grilled lamb or chicken or as a side on a bed of finely julienned purple kale, lightly dressed with more olive oil and lemon juice. Look for preserved lemons at specialty-foods stores. Or, to make your own, see our Preserved Lemons recipe on eatingwell.com.
Avocado & Shrimp Chopped Salad
The smoky flavors of grilled shrimp and corn in this healthy chopped salad recipe are a tasty match for the creamy cilantro dressing.
Summer Tomato, Onion & Cucumber Salad
Fresh wedges of tomato, thinly sliced onion and sliced cucumber dressed simply with vinegar and oil makes the most simple salad possible--think of it as the Southern counterpart to the classic Italian tomato-and-mozzarella salad. It is best enjoyed at the height of summer, when tomatoes and cucumbers are fresh from the garden.
Japanese Cucumber Salad
This Japanese-inspired cool, crisp salad is as elegant and well balanced as it is simple.
Superfood Chopped Salad with Salmon & Creamy Garlic Dressing
Curly kale forms the base of this salad, but you could use chard or spinach. To the greens, add a multitude of chopped veggies, such as broccoli, cabbage and carrots. Finish with rich salmon for protein and a drizzle of creamy yogurt dressing to bring it all together.
Spinach Salad with Warm Maple Dressing
Pure maple syrup, as opposed to artificially flavored and colored “pancake” syrup, is an extraordinary cooking ingredient. Here it adds body as well as rich flavor to the dressing, providing a perfect counterpoint to the smoked cheese.
Broccoli Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette
Parmesan, red onions and pecans contribute flavor and texture to this quick and easy broccoli salad that makes a great easy side dish for almost any protein. If you have leftovers, toss them with pasta for lunch the following day.
Cobb Salad with Herb-Rubbed Chicken
Try this satisfying salad recipe for an updated version of the classic Cobb. Kale, feta and strawberries give this chicken salad a colorful upgrade.
Farro Salad with Kale
In this easy vegetarian recipe, hearty kale and other fresh veggies come together with nutty farro for an easy main-dish salad. The many varieties of kale vary in color and texture; all can be enjoyed cooked or raw. You can gently rub raw kale to make it more tender--massaging will help break down the thick, sturdy leaves. Pearled or semi-pearled farro has some or all of the bran layer removed, so it cooks more quickly.
Beet Salad with Feta & Dill
The sweet, earthy flavor of beets shines alongside tangy feta and fresh dill in this easy Greek-inspired beet salad. If you don't have time to roast beets, look for precooked beets in the fresh produce section.
Kale & Chicken Caesar Salad with Parmesan Crisps
Replacing some of the romaine lettuce with massaged kale gives this classic Caesar salad a nutritional upgrade. The homemade Caesar dressing is rich and so flavorful you'll swear off bottled varieties. For an extra-delicious topping, bake the Parmesan into tempting cheese crisps called frico.
Whole-Grain Salad with Charred Broccoli, Spring Onions & Parsley-Sumac Vinaigrette
For this easy healthy salad, chef Hugh Acheson shows the power of charring vegetables as a way to add interest to a salad. This flexible recipe can be made with a variety of whole grains, such as wheat berries, farro or pearl barley. The salad revels in the spring arrival of radishes, spring onions and bright green parsley. Sumac, which is commonly used in Middle Eastern cooking, adds a touch of tartness. Look for it in well-stocked spice sections at your market.
Asparagus Salad with Smoked Salmon & Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
The big punch of this healthy salad with asparagus and smoked salmon comes from gribiche, a creamy French herb sauce with chopped egg. The greens get a toss in a vinaigrette made floral with Meyer lemon. Can't find a Meyer lemon? Substitute with regular lemon.
Tomato-Jicama Salad with Avocado-Chipotle Dressing
If you're looking for a way to jazz up your tomato salad, try this take with jicama--it's a root vegetable that tastes like pears. Its mild, refreshing flavor and distinct crunch make it perfect for summer. Look for sliced or whole jicama in the produce section. The creamy avocado dressing would be great on all sorts of salads.
Peach & Cucumber Salad with Pepita Pesto
Cilantro and pumpkin seeds stand in for traditional pesto ingredients in this easy salad recipe. Look for peaches in July and August, when they are at their peak. Serve the salad along with grilled chicken or fish for a healthy dinner that's ready in less than 30 minutes.
Steak Salad with Charred Onion Vinaigrette & Garlic-Cumin Yogurt
Celebrate grilling season with this robust steak salad recipe from James Beard Award-winning chef Steven Satterfield of Atlanta's Miller Union. The restaurant is known for showcasing seasonal produce from local farmers in simple preparations, such as this salad. To make it faster, prep the yogurt and dry rub ahead of time. Then prep the ingredients for the vinaigrette while the grill preheats.
Mixed Vegetable Salad with Lime Dressing
Using potatoes and green beans gives this gorgeous and healthy salad a salade niçoise feel, but you can use whatever suits your fancy. If you steam any of the vegetables, don't overcook them--if they're mushy they'll fall apart when you toss them with the dressing.
Spinach Salad with Blueberries, Almonds & Halloumi
The combination of sweet berries, crunchy almonds and salty cheese in this spinach salad really can't be beaten. Pan-fried bites of the Greek cheese halloumi are a delicious stand-in for croutons. A simple shallot vinaigrette is made right in the same bowl as the salad, so this stunning summer salad is quick and easy to prep too.
Poached Chicken & Arugula Salad with Tomatoes & Chili Crisp
This healthy chicken salad, bursting with fresh herbs and zesty spices, is based on a salad served at the restaurant Kismet in Los Angeles. Chefs Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson opened the restaurant with amazing California produce in mind. "People often tell us how delicious the food is, but also how good they feel after eating it, which is definitely what we aim to do," says Kramer. Chili crisp is a savory condiment with bite that's made of a mix of chile oil and crispy seasonings, including dried chile, Sichuan peppercorn and onion. Find it in Asian markets or simply substitute chile oil.